Packaging has played a significant role in Ukraine’s resistance against invading Russian forces. Veronika Khalaydzhi, PhD, president of the Club Packagers of Ukraine, runs us through the contributions of two Ukrainian Packing Star 2024 winners – a polymer resource pouch and tin label design for military foods.

The Ukrainian Club Packagers has been holding a competition for the best packaging, “Ukrainian Packing Star”, since 1999. 3227 samples of packaging and labels submitted by 293 companies from 54 cities of Ukraine took part in 26 competitions.

The winners of the competition were 512 samples. Despite the military actions that Russia is waging against Ukraine, the Club Packagers held its 26th competition for the best packaging in early April 2024, in which 40 samples of packaging and labels from 22 companies from eight cities of the country, from Lviv in the west to Dnieper in the east, took part.

Packaging at war

On the cover of the third issue of Packaging magazine for 2022, a military backpack was depicted with a very succinct inscription: “Your whole life is packed into one backpack…” For many Ukrainians – those who went to fight against the Russians, those who moved to safer regions of Ukraine, and those who temporarily moved to other countries – life has turned into a pile of problems, the number of which can barely fit into such a backpack.

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In general, packaging, being an equal participant in the military life of the country, saves in this difficult time, helping to defeat the enemy. It transports weapons and ammunition to the front lines from our foreign partners, delivers medicines and medical equipment to military hospitals, and stores food and drinks for Ukrainian soldiers.

Finally, it helps refugees and displaced people have basic necessities in their new location. Even in these difficult two years of war, packaging, as always, is next to us, although sometimes it is just a backpack that has absorbed our whole life.

The war united all of Ukraine, every Ukrainian to fight the enemy. Not only the soldiers of the Armed Forces, but also the common population on their professional front came to the defense. High-quality performance of duties and tasks contributes to overall victory.

Ukrainian packaging industry enterprises did not stand aside either. True, already in the first weeks of the war, enterprises located in the cities where the fighting took place were stopped, and some were damaged. Many in the east, north and south of Ukraine were unable to work due to a lack of raw materials, spare parts for equipment and the lack of workers who had gone to the front.

The problem with raw materials: cellulose, waste paper, cullet, polyolefin polymers (polyethylene and polypropylene), and polyethylene terephthalate has become critical for many. In addition, curfews, regular long-term air raids, and constant rocket attacks lead to a decrease in working time and productivity, and a complication of logistics.

There has been an increased demand for strategic shelf-stable food products, which are mainly packaged in sophisticated barrier packaging. Using the example of two packages that won the “Ukrainian Packing Star” competition in 2024, I would like to show how Ukrainian packaging enterprises provide the Armed Forces with quality food products.

Retort pouch “Naidok” from ARIS company

The ARIS company from Kharkiv, a city that especially suffers from bombing by Russian missiles, has not stopped working for a day on the production of packaging from polymer films for food. This includes the Naidok retort pouch, which is not only a symbol of modernity and Ukrainian ethnicity, but also a manifestation of charitable initiative and support for the defenders of Ukraine.

This product is produced as part of a charitable project of priests who chose to help not only in word, but also in deed. The goal is to feed the military with delicious, homemade dishes that reflect the best traditions of Ukrainian cuisine.


Bograchi, cabbage rolls, and other traditional Ukrainian dishes are stored in Naidok packaging. The packaging design stands out from the usual retort packages thanks to the use of ethnic geometric shapes inspired by the Hutsul region.

The packaging material of the retort pouch consists of three layers, each of which plays its own role in ensuring maximum protection and preservation of product quality, and is distinguished by the absence of a metallized Al-foil layer. That is why the main advantage of the Naidok retort packaging is that it can be heated even in the microwave, providing maximum convenience to consumers.

A series of labels for stewed meat for the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Designers from the TCD design studio from Kyiv developed label designs for packaging for three types of stew under the motto “From volunteers – with love, from the bottom of my heart!”


The label design has all the signs of modern graphic trends; it is laconic and expressive. After all, for the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, everything should be the best and most useful. The label has a pixel-style background imitating the surface of craft paper. Fonts and all elements are easy to read.

The label makes it clear that this is a stew for the military, crafted, homemade, made by volunteers with all their hearts. This effect is reinforced by the inscription “With love to the Armed Forces of Ukraine” in a handwritten font that reproduces the original handwriting of the volunteer customers.

The labels are printed on an 8-color flexo machine with neon and UV inks on white polypropylene film using a selective matte varnish with a tactile “sand” effect.

Batches of stewed meat are regularly sent to the front, and TCD design studio continues its work and helps those who need it.


Ukrainian packaging companies continue to produce packaging for food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products, which are supplied both to the population of the entire country and to soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Today, the potential threat of being involved in hostilities looms over many European countries.

Therefore, following the example of Ukrainian packaging companies, it is necessary now to be ready to produce packaging in which the storage and, most importantly, use of food and other types of products in combat conditions will be most effective, safe, and convenient.

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